The Gavitt Video games will embrace on Friday with two highlighted matchups. Indiana happening the highway to tackle Xavier would be the first.
TV Schedule: Friday, Nov. 18 – 6:00 p.m., FS1
Enviornment: Cintas Middle – Cincinnati, Ohio
Indiana began the season at quantity 13 within the AP Ballot. Whereas not stunning that the Hoosiers had been ranked that prime, the Hoosiers haven’t gotten as excessive as 13 in nearly six years. It was an indication of hope for this system. An indication that Mike Woodson had this crew trending in the precise course. Nonetheless, the Cintas Middle will definitely present a menace to the Indiana preseason expectations.
The battle of the frontcourts
The query of the sport: How will Jack Nunge and Zach Freemantle fare towards Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson, and Malik Reneau? Clearly, everybody is aware of what Jackson-Davis and Thompson can do. They pose as superb back-to-the-basket threats and Jackson-Davis particularly is nice in choose & roll conditions. Reneau has been the shock for the Hoosiers. The freshman, who was considered a venture by some, is averaging 12 factors per sport and has been environment friendly to date. He additionally has proven that if left alone, he’ll try a 3 or two. With the ability to play two bigs and one among them on the perimeter is basically huge for Jackson-Davis’ sport.
Indiana’s firepower on offense within the entrance court docket does have the prospect to be upstaged. Nunge and Freemantle are combining for practically 34 factors per sport. Nunge, the previous Iowa switch was clearly large final season, however Freemantle had a down yr. His numbers in these first couple of video games have been actually encouraging and Sean Miller may need re-unlocked elements of his sport that nobody noticed final yr.
What function can the guards play?
With each groups taking part in properly to begin the season, there haven’t been very many negatives to remove from anybody on both crew. Xavier’s guards have been taking part in extraordinarily properly as Souley Boum, Colby Jones, KyKy Tandy, and Adam Kunkel are all nationally ranked in the case of offensive score. One factor the Musketeers may want is extra constant play out of freshman level guard Desmond Claude. Being a freshman on the level guard place is all the time powerful in faculty basketball, however committing dwell ball turnovers and letting Xavier Johnson and Jalen Hood-Schifino out within the open ground is the very last thing that Xavier desires to do.
Talking of Hood-Schifino, he hasn’t been fairly as environment friendly as Hoosier followers wish to begin the season, however it hasn’t been an issue. Johnson and Tamar Bates, whereas in restricted roles, have been environment friendly on the offensive finish and Bates has actually been energetic on the defensive finish posting a 3.6 steal%. Taking good care of the ball can be one of many important keys to victory for Xavier.
For Xavier, this might be an excellent tune-up sport that provides them momentum or zones in on what they should repair earlier than the gauntlet within the PK85 subsequent week. Indiana definitely has a lighter non-conference schedule at the very least over the primary couple of weeks, however that is definitely an opportunity to show that each one their returning gamers did the truth is get higher. Xavier taking part in this sport at house and the power to match up with Indiana’s frontcourt is what might get it carried out for them.
Rating Prediction: Xavier 71, Indiana 69